Inaugural Prefect Study Buddies Announced

22nd March 2022

The following is a copy of the speech delivered in (Zoom) assembly on 21st March by Deputy Head, Dr Emma O’Rielly, who introduced the new Study Buddy initiative to the Senior School students:


Good afternoon everybody.

I wanted to talk briefly with you today about a new Prefect initiative that we are trailing for the first time this year.

It’s important that students understand the leadership opportunities that lie before them, so I wanted to share with you some detail about a new initiative which has been named Study Buddies.

As you know, at Girton, there is an expectation that older students are role models for their younger peers, and this responsibility is especially pronounced for Prefects.

So, to improve the general visibility of Prefects and to take advantage of the positive influence that these nominated student representatives have on their peers, a system of “Study Buddies” is being introduced.

So, what is a Study Buddy?

A Study Buddy is a Prefect selected for their strong academic standing to be a presence in the classroom of younger students. Complimenting the work of Year 10 Peer Support Leaders who provide social support for Year 7 students, the Prefect Study Buddies will support students academically in Years 7 to 9.

We recently invited the top six Prefect academic achievers to become Study Buddies and I am delighted to say that all six Prefects have graciously accepted their personal invitation.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the following six students for becoming our inaugural Prefect Study Buddies:

Astrid Johnston, Dhruv Gupta, Rena Nichol, Aiden Clemens, Phoebe Radford, Isaac Willits. 

From this week, these students will be spending one of their Study Periods each cycle helping in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 Mathematics and Science classes.

They will be checking in with individual students to see if they need help; suggesting alternative ways of completing tasks; and joining in on class group work as an active participant.

I am expecting that teachers will call on Study Buddies to demonstrate how they might tackle a particular problem, because we know that explicit role modelling is very powerful.

And I am expecting that our Study Buddies will provide younger students with a role model for academic success – a tangible example of where academic effort can lead.

It is important that young students understand that they too, one day, just like the Prefects in their classroom, can be successful, so I hope that the presence of Study Buddies in classrooms might support the academic confidence of younger students by instilling a belief in their future capabilities.

I’m sure the Prefects will share stories of when they were in Year 7, 8 and 9 and that the stories will provide inspiration to the younger students about where their Girton journey might lead.

So, if you are one of the lucky classes to have a Prefect Study Buddy, please take a leaf out of their book. They have worked hard to achieve solid academic results and they have earned the privilege of being a School Prefect.

I look forward to checking in with our Study Buddies and their host teachers about the progress of this wonderful new initiative, which we will refine and perhaps grow in the future.

Thank you.

2022 Study Buddies: Phoebe, Rena, Dhruv and Isaac (absent, Astrid and Aiden)